BLM NEWS RELEASE: WSGS Releases CBNG Groundwater Monitoring Report Update

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Wyoming State Geological Survey (BLM NEWS RELEASE)
Dec. 29, 2014


Media Contact:
Chamois Andersen
(307) 766-2286 x231

WSGS Releases CBNG Groundwater Monitoring Report Update 

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Buffalo Field Office (BFO) in cooperation with Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS), announce the release of the Updated Open-File Report 2014-01: 2013 Coalbed Natural Gas (CBNG) Regional Groundwater Monitoring Report Update: Powder River Basin (PRB), Wyoming. 

This updated report presents data from BLM’s deep monitoring well network in the Wyoming PRB along with initial interpretations.  This data was collected from the monitor system through 2013.  This updated version includes more complete individual monitor well reports as well as comparisons to CBNG well production within a 1.5 mile radius of influence. 

The BLM BFO deep monitoring well network measures the drawdown in the producing zones and provides data with which to evaluate potential leakage between the CBNG water-producing coal deposits and adjacent sandstone aquifers.  Groundwater models and drawdown predictions are used to forecast potential hydrogeological impacts of CBNG production in Wyoming.  BLM deep monitoring well data can be used to evaluate impact analysis and provide calibration data for future analysis of CBNG drawdown impacts as well as verify the assumptions made in the PRB Final Environmental Impact Statement, 2003. 

Generally, water levels at most sites were relatively stable during 2013.  The report found that the Big George Coal showed continued decline in groundwater levels as gas production continued or increased, and the Upper Wyodak showed areas of groundwater recovery where gas production has ceased or is declining.  It is anticipated that if CBNG production and the associated water production continues to decrease, then water levels will recover at more monitoring well sites.  

The report is available at:

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.

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